The question remains, however, can we actually teach students that skill?
The Thinking Skills Debate The debate over whether or not general thinking skills, or GTS, actually exist is well traveled within a relatively small circle of researchers and thinkers, but virtually unknown outside of it.
In , he explored how critical thinking is understood and taught by faculty from a range of disciplines at an Australian university.
While he outlined certain relations among disciplines, he found nothing to suggest that the complexity of those relations could be reduced to a core set of cognitive skills.
“The university seeks to foster in all its students lifelong habits of careful observation, critical thinking, creativity, moral reflection and articulate expression.” “…
University fosters intellectual inquiry and critical thinking, preparing graduates who will serve as effective, ethical leaders and engaged citizens.” “The college provides students with the knowledge, critical-thinking skills and creative experience they need to navigate in a complex global environment.” These are but a tiny sampling of the mission statements from higher education institutions around the country where critical thinking is a central focus.
The student can then manage those overlapping experiences as a kind of portfolio that shows him or her how content is processed and problems are solved.
If a core set of thinking skills can be distilled from this portfolio, great.
John Mc Peck, professor of education at the University of Western Ontario; Daniel T.
Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia; and, to a certain degree, Moore himself have defended the specifists' position.